Saturday, October 10, 2015

Chicken by Chicken: Life in the Blur

Hi, folks. Just a little peek at my life and times first: I had the pleasure of attending the SCBWI conference in College Station, Texas. I met the brilliant Kimberly Willis Holt, who was as wonderful as I hoped she would be. I was so grateful to have the chance to meet such a fine writer, and she spoke to my soul, which is a thing so beyond words. I also had the chance to meet the Balzer and Bray editor, Kelsey Murphy, who shared great stuff about creating authentic characters, and was full of energy and the love of children's books. Feeling pretty blessed.

And now on to my Chicken by Chicken, where I talk about the real. We all face challenges. I am like everyone, I have challenges too. This week I'm going to talk about life in the blur. I was born with anisometropia amblyopia. Also known as lazy eye.  There is nothing wrong with my eye. The brain doesn't work. Currently there is a rosy outlook for this condition. For folks my age, not so much. I am legally blind in one eye. My other eye is corrected to 20/40.

I am extremely lucky that my good eye meets the threshold for driving without restriction. If I lose any more vision, I will no longer be able to drive at night or over the speed of 45 miles an hour. Having only one eye means I do not have stereoscopic vision. This makes me clumsy and I trip over things a lot  and bang into curbs with my car. I wish all curbs were painted a color. I also suck at sports that require you to hit a ball with a stick. I also sort of run into things randomly in a way that makes people roll their eyes.

I am posting two pictures so you can see what I see without my glasses.  The first one is what I can see with my bad eye. This is all it can ever see. The second one is what I can see with my good eye without correction.   As soon as my glasses are off I am blind.

This condition has shaped my life in a million ways. I trip on steps, fall off curbs, and run into pesky poles. I hate crowds because I bump into people and get scolded: "Are you blind?" This happens to me 3 or 4 times a week  and has happened for my whole life. Did the math. That is well over a hundred thousand times. If my glasses get knocked off for any reason,  I am blind. It annoys many people when I ask them to help me find my glasses. See pictures above. Could you find your glasses? Only if there is really, really good contrast, which there rarely is.

How we perceive the world defines us.  Anything that requires depth perception is just not in my wheel house. That means no diving, no flying planes, no playing video games, no driving motorboats, blah, blah, blah. I don't see things the way others do. The end. I am kind to myself. I accept my limitations and live on in the blur. We are all making do. A good thing to remember.
I will be back next week with more Chicken by Chicken.

Here is a doodle.
Finally a quote for your pocket. 

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. ― Moliere


Vijaya said...

A fine essay, Molly. I do grieve for the child you were, unable to see, even though I know it has made you who you are today, a person with both compassion and determination.

How did you find those pictures? The second one is how I see the world without glasses. I never lose them ... they're ALWAYS on my face except when I'm sleeping.

Molly/Cece said...

Yes, the whole patch thing broke me in a good way. I used the power of google. I search on pictures that would match my vision. The astigmatism is wrong, put the pics were close enough. If only I could always remember my glasses...